Indonesia went to polls on Wednesday in what is being called the world’s biggest single-day elections to choose a new president and parliament. More than 192 million people are eligible to cast ballots in national and regional legislative elections being contested by more than 2,45,000 candidates, running for 20,000 positions including the country’s president.
Indonesia is the world’s third most populous electoral democracy. This is their 5th general elections since democratic rule began in 1998.
The 5,000 km long country (from eastern to western tip) underwent an eight-hour process. Considered a mammoth and difficult task, the South Asian country created a record in the process.
Seeking a re-election, President Joko Widodo, businessman turned politician is pitted against former general Prabowo Subianto, whom he narrowly defeated in the 2014 elections.
The Muslim majority country is looking forward to a hard fought election this time. The margins, as per analysts, could be closer than last time.
As per reports, voting began first in the far-flung eastern province of Papua, which is two hours ahead of the capital, Jakarta. Ballot papers were delivered under heavy security to far flung areas by plane, speedboat, canoe and horseback.
Also Read: NewsMobile Election Central
More than 10,000 people have volunteered to crowd-source election results posted at polling stations in a real-time bid to thwart attempts at fraud.
Nearly 3,50,000 police and soldiers will join 1.6 million paramilitary officers stationed across the country of 17,000 islands to safeguard the vote.
Voters will have five paper ballots for president, vice president, and national and regional legislative candidates. The winning presidential candidate could be known by late on Wednesday.
Official results will be announced in May. Any disputes can be taken to the Constitutional Court where a nine-judge panel will have 14 days to rule on them.
A win for Widodo with 52-55 percent of the vote would be the “sweet spot” said a senior government official close to the president, adding that this would spur him to continue and even accelerate economic reforms.